Philmont: Painting Tent Stakes

Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 21:32:18 -0800
From: Rfisher <>
Subject: Re: [Philmont] RE: tent stakes
Signe Rogers wrote:
> Painting tent stakes fluorescent orange sounds like a great idea until one
> experiences the painstaking task of picking little orange paint chips off
> the ground because they chip off the stakes.

Sorry your crew had such a difficult time, but we didn't have any problems with paint flaking off. In fact the stakes are still in good shape in that regard. I did do a couple of things that might have helped; I cleaned the stakes with soap and water then denatured alcohol before painting [this will remove any antioxidants or lubricants used in the manufacturing process], I used a base coat of a light colored paint [serves as primer and makes the orange show up better] then applied the orange paint when the weather was rather warm and dry [to help curing]. I suspect that the cleaning is the key to keeping the paint from peeling. One other thing that might help is to slightly roughen the stakes with sandpaper or steel wool. And the type of paint used could have caused the problem too. I used Krylon spray enamel on the stakes I painted

This process is the "standard procedure" I use when painting any outdoor/garden equipment, so I guess I might have taken it for granted that it was common practice. Good luck and

Happy Trails

Roy Fisher

Added in a private communication:

Additional comments concerning rain gutter nails: since they are designed to be hammered into wood to hold up the gutters, they are less prone to bend than the wire stakes [and are very similar to the Easton pegs Chris in Houston wrote about] but they will bend if you try to hammer right through a rock [so will steel rods] and will go nicely into tree roots.

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